KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 ― Hong Kong Cantopop singer Anthony Wong has been charged with corruption for singing at a political rally three years ago.
The Straits Times reported that anti-graft watchdog Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) charged Wong and former opposition lawmaker Au Nok Hin on Monday with one count of engaging in corrupt conduct to provide others with entertainment to induce people to vote for the latter.
The 59-year-old singer-songwriter and vocalist for the Cantopop duo Tat Ming Pair during the 1980s, was accused of performing two songs on stage at a rally held by Au at Edinburgh Place in Central on March 3, 2018.
The rally was held a week before Au, who is now in jail for separate cases, won a Legislative Council (Legco) by-election.
“At the end of the performance, he appealed to the participants of the rally to vote for Au at the election,” the ICAC said in a statement.
A video of the rally was subsequently shared on Au's social media account and the former lawmaker said that the video, as well as a post announcing Wong's performance, were his election advertisements, according to ICAC.
“Providing others with refreshments and entertainment at an election is a corrupt conduct and a serious offence.
“Candidates, election agents/helpers and members of the public are reminded to refrain from offering food, drinks or entertainment during an election in exchange for votes.”
Wong, who is currently on bail, and Au are expected to appear in Eastern Magistrates' Court on Thursday.
They could face up to seven years in prison and a fine of HK$500,000 (RM271,630) if found guilty.
Au lost his Legco seat in December 2019 after pro-democracy candidate Agnes Chow overturned the election result in court.
Au was among 47 opposition politicians and activists arrested in January for links to primary polls held in July last year, ahead of Legco elections that were eventually postponed.
They were charged under the national security law with conspiracy to commit subversion.
Au was sentenced to nine weeks' jail in March for assaulting two police officers with a loudhailer at an anti-government protest in 2019.
In April, he was sentenced to ten months in jail after pleading guilty to organising and participating in an unauthorised assembly on August 18, 2019, where thousands gathered at Victoria Park before marching to Chater Road in Central.
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